Monday, January 11, 2010

US ConGen Jerusalem Sued by Former LES

Consulate General USA_1404Image by hoyasmeg via Flickr

The Jerusalem Post has a piece about a lawsuit filed by a locally hired employee (LES) against the US Consulate General in Jerusalem (Jan 9, 2010 22:53). Quick excerpt below:

Alleged terror ties are at the heart of a lawsuit the US Consulate in Jerusalem is fighting; it is being sued for NIS 250,000 by a former employee who the consulate discovered had ties with Hamas.

The plaintiff is Azam Qiq, who worked at the diplomatic mission until 2006 as a mechanic. His father was Hassan Qiq, the former head of Hamas in Jerusalem, who died in 2006.

Azam Qiq was hired by the consulate in 2003 and underwent a background check by its security teams. According to court documents obtained by The Jerusalem Post, during his hiring interview, Qiq said he had never been arrested or interrogated by the Israeli police.

For the next three years, Qiq worked in the consulate motor pool and was a good employee. He even received two awards from then counsel-general Jacob Walles for his exemplary service.
Qiq was fired by the consulate in September 2006.

In 2007, he filed a lawsuit against the consulate and the US government for unlawful dismissal and demanded close to NIS 250,000 in compensation. He claimed that his dismissal was not done in accordance with law, and that he did not receive severance pay.

The consulate, in its response, claimed that it had no choice but to fire Qiq. "We cannot exaggerate in emphasizing the sensitivity of having access to the consulate's motor pool, which doesn't just service consulate workers but also serves VIPs who come frequently to Jerusalem on official US government business," read the response filed with the court.

Read the whole thing here.

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